Wednesday, January 13, 2010

AI Season 9 01-13-10 Atlanta Auditions

Pop Quiz? How is it that Ryan grew up in Atlanta but has no accent?

I've been in the Atlanta airport twice, and will go through there again next weekend, and lemee tellya, there are accents all over the place. Ryan must have worked extra hard to erase the traces.

10,000 hopefuls, most of whom are about to get their hearts broken. Kara is wearing black leggings and a spangly top. Guest Judge Mary J. Blige has on a very pretty beige sweater with wide lapels. The taping room is 27 floors up, and the kids all have to ride a glassed elevator in order to perform. Plenty of time to get the vapors on the way up, and fall apart on the return trip.

First Auditioner Dewone Robinson, in blue pleated trousers and a plain black short-sleeved shirt, is just like all of the first auditioners: bad. Unlike any other auditioner ever, he sings an original song that, as far as I can tell, is called : Latey, I Low You (with the repeated mournful refrain: It's o-her).

Hmmm- someone has cheerleaders. Cheerleaders with bows on their heads.

26 year old Keia Johnson is wearing skin-tight lime green pants and red-high tops. She has Shirley Temple curls and a big smile. She was Miss Congeniality in a beauty contest, which means that she didn't win. I would not have pegged her for a Celine fan, but her heart will go on to Hollywood.

Miriam L (didn't catch her last name) is pretty, and has shiny hair. Noel Reese has braces and an interesting voice. Tisha Holland has huge earrings and the red version of Keia's pants. All three move on.

Jermaine Sellers is a 26 year old, tall and skinny professional church singer. He has taken care of his ill mother for years, and feels like being on American Idol will prove his worth, though he seems too level headed to believe such a silly thing. He choses What If God Was One of Us?, and though it's too embroider-y for my taste, he has a lovely voice.

Local TV Host Kristy Marie is far too perky. She's not taking her audition seriously, so neither am I.

Oooohhhh... the Cheerleader Girl (who is not dressed like one, but obviously is) didn't make it. Her pom-pom entourage mourns with her.

Vanessa Wolfe, from Tennessee, likes to jump off bridges in a bikini when she's not sitting on the trailer porch with her mom. She's wearing a terrible pink bubble dress that she bought for $4.50 at the thrift store. I expect her to be awful, but she has an arresting and unusual voice, sort of Dolly-ish. It's more real than most of the MariahCelineWhitney girls. She needs serious work: lessons, confidence, clothes that cost $10. But there's something there. I'm glad the judges heard it too, and I hope she's taking lessons right now.

Lathan Davenport, Hansel Enriquez (seriously), and Blake Smith (another Britney Boy) are all bad, which surprises no one.

What does surprise me is pretty Mallorie Hayley. How in the world did I not know that someone from Winner, SD was trying out? Or that she made it to Hollywood? And that she's genuinely good? I can't wait to see how she does in the next rounds. Go Mallorie!

Atlanta and Coke go together... and it's hot there. Alert the press.

So, I figure that we know everything we need to know about Skii Boski  from his misspelled, custom-made personalized shirt, and music motifs shaved on his head. He's all pose and attitude, and I find him supremely annoying. Except his voice isn't awful. Let's hope he has a self-esteemectomy between now and Hollywood, or they're going to eat him alive.

Best Friends Carmen and Lauren audition together, dressed alike in bad makeup, bad hair, and terrible tops. Their speaking voices make my ears bleed, and we know from the start that this will not end well. Lauren sings first, getting herself bleeped before showing off her thin, wavery voice. Carmen has a stronger voice, though it's still not pleasing. I think the the judges put Carmen through just for the drama (though in Lauren's favor, she was weepy but supportive). Carmen won't make it past the first Hollywood round.

Next we see rejects Betty Boop, Tongue Stud, and Pretty Girl Who Can't Sing. At All.

Brian Walker, pink cheeked, 25 year old police officer with a wispy blond mohawk, lumbers in and we assume this is going to be a trainwreck. He sings Superstar in the style of Ruben Studdard (his own description), which is my absolute least favorite Superstar Style (I love Ruben, but his version of that song is excruciatingly slow and labored). Kara has evidently never watched that American Idol show, because she's flat out flabbergasted that an unattractive person can have a pleasing voice.

Though I haven't mentioned him yet, we've seen snippets of Angry Dude throughout the show. It's finally his turn to take the Elevator of Anxiety. Lamar Royal and his segmented eyebrows declare a love for singing and constructive criticism. But we already know better, and soon so does he. Lamar proves himself to be totally deluded, unable to listen, and surprise surprise, really bad at gracefully accepting criticism of any kind. Security has to escort him from the building.

I take one peek at General Larry Platt and decide that he's 60 if he's a day. Simon, et al, are not fooled, but they play along as he sings an original song lamenting the clothing choices of young people these days,which I am never going to get out of my head. Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin' like a foo witcher pants onna groun. Larry, btw, is 62- toldja so.

So, 25 kids from Atlanta made it through (including Mallorie- woohoo!). Next Tuesday, we'll be in Chicago, and we get previews of a great girl singer (ya think they want a female winner this year or what?), lots of bad singers, and the most shocking vision of all: Simon in a cardigan.

P.S. I totally forgot to mention the chick who dressed like Elton John Imitating a Guitar. In fishnet stockings. She has a really good voice, but the gimmick outweighs the talent, and I don't expect her to move past Hollywood.

P.S.S. I didn't forget the 9 Lives Guy. I deliberately left him out- those re-enactments were too mean, even for this show.


Peglett said...

I didn't watch AI until I started reading your reviews. I am going to enjoy another season with your great commentary.

Kathleen Taylor said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Am hooked on AI also. Read your comments and laughed out loud. Which I need cuz the sun is not out. Loved your pics. Sorry I missed knitters. See you next time. Ginger

Brenda said...

I am new to your blog, so waving "Hello" and nice to meet you. I watch Idol most of the time, mainly because my daugter got me started several years ago. Sometimes I really wish we could see some variety shows for someone my age. I don't like...or let's just say I don't watch Surviver, The Greatest Race or the Biggest Loser or any of those shows. Dancing With The Stars and Idol are the main ones I watch. You are spot on here with your description of 9 Lives Guy. There were several like that.. these past 2 nights, that in my opinion...were too much, even for this show. I wonder if this is the last season for American Idol. Might be time.

Kathleen Taylor said...

Welcome aboard, Brenda!
And Ginger, I didn't make it to the last knitting either. It was too cold to be out and about. I hope to be there next month.

melcauble said...

BTW, from an Atlanta girl, you'll really only hear the strong accents from people who live outside the Atlanta-metro area. The metro area is a melting pot with a lot of highly educated people!

Elaine said...

"Let's hope he has a self-esteemectomy". Oh that's too funny, but oh so true. He kind of reminds me of Tatiana. I've watched AI since the first season and I never get tired of it, although some seasons are so much better than others. What's your take on Simon leaving next year? I just don't think it would/could be the same! Love reading your take on the show!

Kathleen Taylor said...

melcauble: I figure when I'm in the south, that *I'm* the one with the accent...

elaine: I don't know. The show may be just fine without Simon. I don't always agree with him, and his biases are fairly obvious. On the other hand, it may all fall apart when he leaves. Either way, it'll be interesting to watch.